Great fruit never needs to be “made” into wine, merely guided.
A minimalist approach is taken for each of the wines, with no more than a third new oak used, allowing for the expression of the land to shine through. A combination of cultured yeast and wild yeast fermentations are employed, and the wines are aged in all French oak. There is no recipe, or specific regimen for the wines during their life before bottling. Each wine follows a path towards excellence, and bottled upon arrival.
Property & Vineyard
The estate vineyard occupies 9 choice acres of the 162 acre Nelson home ranch, at approximately 1700ft of elevation. The majority of the property remains a Redwood forest in a wild, natural state, home to many species of native plants and animals. It is a place of great natural beauty. Situated on the coastal side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the cool maritime breezes moderate the effect of the abundant sunshine, creating the perfect climate for producing high quality cool-climate varieties. Most of the vineyard blocks are located on south to southwest facing slopes planted to four clones of Pinot Noir, two clones of Chardonnay and one clone of Syrah. The sparse soils beneath the vines consist of only a couple of feet of topsoil, with ancient marine uplift soils supplying the base rock beneath the vines. All of the vineyard blocks are planted on slopes of varying degree, allowing for ideal drainage.
Made from the Wente Clone from the small patch next to the winery building that faces Northwest. Barrel fermented in French oak (third new) and aged sur-lie till just before bottling. A classic representation of Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay showing richness, yet balanced by a vibrant acidity, and giving pear, pineapple, hazelnut and mineral on the long finish.
A blend of four separate lots (only one lot and one clone in 2008) and four clones; 828, 115, 667 and Pommard. Cold soaked for 36-48 hours, then a steady fermentation, followed by gentile pressing allow for a richly textured wine. The freshness of fruit and aromatics are preserved in this dense and expressive Pinot. Black Cherries, plum, anise, mineral and allspice all mingle over a slight floral note, before ending with a fresh acidity and great length.
Sourced from a small South facing patch planted to Shiraz Clone. The patch shows the warmth of fruit typical for the clone in warmer years, and earth/spice notes more typical of Croze-Hermitage in cooler years. Handled in a similar fashion to the Pinot Noir, the gentle treatment allows for the nuanced flavors of Clove, cocoa, black licorice and smoke mingle with the opulent blackberry-pie like fruit that greets you on the entry to the palate.